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Minister and MLA target of erosion ire

Jalangi (Murshidabad), July 11: Irate villagers of the erosion-hit Parashpur village in Murshidabad today greeted irrigation minister Ganesh Mondol, who is touring the district to monitor the ravages along the Padma, with protests.

But their anger was directed more at Jalangi MLA Yunus Sarkar and sabhadipati Bharati Ghosh. At one point, police and local leaders had to intervene when a villager tried to attack Sarkar with a sharp weapon in front of the minister.

The villagers told the minister that Parashpur, Taltali and Dayarampur villages on a 2-km stretch along the Padma bear the brunt of erosion. About 54 houses in Parashpur were swept away last week when the swollen river surged inland.

The situation at Dayarampur is still reported to be grave.

The residents complained that government help did not reach them despite several reminders sent through the district administration.

“I have built a house thrice at Dayarampur, but each time the river changed course and washed it away. I told that to the minister today,” said Abdul Majid, an elderly villager. Shyamdasi Mondal said they had been living under the open sky as no relief had come their way.

A BSF camp in Dayarampur had been swept away last monsoon. The BSF then took shelter in a makeshift camp 2 km further inland. But the river has shifted 1.5 km this year and is again threatening the BSF outpost.

Nothing remains of the 3-km border road built by the BSF from Taltali to Dayarampur.

Ganesh Mondol promised embankments would be built at a cost of about Rs 11 crore to prevent erosion in villages like Taltali, Parashpur and Dayarampur. The superintending engineer of the irrigation department has chalked out the plan and left for Patna to get it sanctioned by the Ganga Flood Control Office, he added.

“Once the amount is sanctioned by the office, work may be started after monsoons,” the minister said.

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